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March Madness Analysis: Top 6 Title Contenders

Virginia was the first of the teams from the Power-5 conferences to be eliminated from the March Madness bracket. Is that a sign of things to come as the field of 68 will be cut to 16 by Sunday night?

Seven teams are listed as double-digit favorites according to the college basketball spread as the first round gets underway on Thursday.

March Madness Analysis: Top 6 Title Contenders
Jordan Hawkins #24 of the UConn Huskies | Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images/AFP


Kansas entered the season as the favorite to win the national title. However, Jayhawks leading scorer Kevin McCullar announced via social media that he will be unable to play in the tournament.

When looking at our odds of winning March Madness, UConn (+375), Houston (+600) and Purdue (+700) lead the way in the odds to win the national title.

Let’s take a look at some of the top contenders to win the title.

 

UConn Eyeing Repeat

With the way the regular season played out, this could be a tough tournament to handicap.

Here’s a look at the six teams with the top odds to win it all in the 2024 March Madness bracket according to the BetUS sportsbook.

1. UConn Huskies

  • Record: 31-3
  • Seed: No. 1 in East
  • Odds to Win March Madness: +375
  • Odds to Reach the Final Four: Even
  • Odds to Make the Regional Final: -160

 

Toughest Potential Matchup: Iowa State. If the Cyclones play like they did in the Big 12 tournament final, they can beat just about anybody.

UConn doesn’t appear to have a weakness with All-American point guard Tristen Newton leading the way. Alex Karaban and Cam Spencer are able to light it up from the perimeter while sophomore center Donovan Clingan and freshman Stephon Castle are on the radar of NBA scouts.

 

2. Houston Cougars

  • Record: 30-4
  • Seed: No. 1 in South
  • Odds to Win March Madness: +600
  • Odds to Reach the Final Four: +150
  • Odds to Make the Regional Final: -135

 

Toughest Potential Matchup: Kentucky. If the Kentucky freshmen don’t play like first-year players, the Wildcats are a very dangerous team and could make life difficult for the top-seeded Cougars.

Houston was completely shut down in the Big 12 title game and that is a concern as is the fact that the top three scorers are 6-foot-1, 6-1 and 6-3. How will the Cougars hold up against a team that can throw the ball into the low post?

 

3. Purdue Boilermakers

  • Record: 29-4
  • Seed: No. 1 in Midwest
  • Odds to Win March Madness: +700
  • Odds to Reach the Final Four: +175
  • Odds to Make the Regional Final: -115

 

Toughest Potential Matchup: Tennessee. Can Purdue slow down Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht and deal with the pressure of being one of the pre-tournament favorites according to the Las Vegas odds?

Purdue’s biggest weakness could be recent history. The Boilermakers were on the wrong side of history with a loss to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Failure to win the Big Ten tournament title only raised more questions going into the NCAAs.

If an opponent can keep National Player of the Year front-runner Zach Edey from making regular trips to the foul line, do the Boilermakers have a Plan B? An injury to Braden Smith is a concern as well.

 

4. Arizona Wildcats

  • Record: 25-8
  • Seed: No. 2 in West
  • Odds to Win March Madness: +1200
  • Odds to Reach the Final Four: +250
  • Odds to Make the Regional Final: Even

 

Toughest Potential Matchup: North Carolina. A matchup between the Wildcats and the Tar Heels with a spot in the Final Four at stake would be must-see TV.

The Wildcats were -14 in points in the paint in the Pac-12 tournament loss to Oregon and teams will be watching tape of that game to try to slow down one of the top-scoring teams in the country.

 

5. North Carolina Tar Heels

  • Record: 27-7
  • Seed: No. 1 in West
  • Odds to Win March Madness: +1400
  • Odds to Reach the Final Four: +300
  • Odds to Make the Regional Final: +185

 

Toughest Potential Matchup: Arizona is one of the top offensive teams in the country and that could pose some issues for a North Carolina team that has put itself in trouble with scoring droughts at times this season.

Armando Bacot and R.J. Davis were stars of a North Carolina team that played in the 2022 national championship game. The addition of transfers Cormac Ryan and Harrison Ingram and the arrival of freshman guard Elliot Cadeau gives North Carolina a strong starting lineup. A lack of production off the bench could be an issue.

 

6. Tennessee Volunteers

  • Record: 24-8
  • Seed: No. 2 in Midwest
  • Odds to Win March Madness: +1600
  • Odds to Reach the Final Four: +325
  • Odds to Make the Regional Final: N/A

 

Toughest Potential Matchup: Creighton. Before Tennessee can think about matching up with Edey and Purdue in the Elite Eight, the Volunteers may need to contend with a veteran Creighton team with size and perimeter scoring.

Dalton Knecht has been a revelation since transferring in from Northern Colorado. There have been struggles from time to time to find other scorers for the Volunteers. That was an issue in the SEC tournament loss to Mississippi State when three starters combined to go 3-for-17 from the field as Tennessee could not overcome a tough shooting effort from Knecht.

 

 

Questions Of The Day

Which team had the best odds to win the men’s Division I national title when the season began?


Kansas was priced at +1000 followed by Duke at +1100 in the odds of winning March Madness before the first game was played during the 2023-24 men’s college basketball season.

Which college basketball team in the March Madness bracket has the best record in the nation against the spread?


South Carolina is 23-10 against the spread and Iowa State is 23-10-1 ATS. San Diego State is among the teams perfect against Las Vegas odds when facing ranked opponents.

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